‘He was sexually abused and suffered mental illness’: Travis Boys’ sister takes the stand

NEW ORLEANS -- The defense called up their first witness Thursday morning for the trial of Travis Boys, the man accused of shooting and killing NOPD Officer Daryle Holloway in 2015.

Jermice Joseph, the older sister of defendant Travis Boys, told the court she has never met or seen Travis' father. She says Boys never had a father and their mother passed away three years ago.

Joseph told the court their mother had mental health issues. She says her mother was a paranoid schizophrenic.

The family was frequently separated from her because she was admitted to many mental hospitals during their childhood. When she would have nervous breakdowns, the siblings would be separated, treated poorly, and abused -- emotionally and physically.

She told the court their mother would be gone for months, sometimes a year.

During the breakdowns, Jospeh says their mother would do things that were "really scary."

"You'd think she was a crack head, but she had a mental condition. People called her crazy. She would wander around the neighborhood, talk to herself, cried a lot."

Joseph told the court she never had a childhood.

"I took care of Travis and my other younger sister. If they peed in the bed -- I got whooped for it. I had to dress them, feed them, get them to school. I had to look after them the best I could, the age I was. Travis continued to wet the bed even when he was school-aged."

She also spoke about their family's history with mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia. She also said there were "perverts and sexual abusers in our family."

"It's a generational curse or something."

She said Travis was sexually abused. She told the court, "an uncle sexually molested my brother. He [performed oral sex on Travis Boys]. When we found out about it we were told to never talk about it again."

Joseph talks about other family members killing themselves, "a few of my relatives who suffer from mental illness are now deceased. We all kept secrets. This passes on from generation to generation."

She told the court some of that behavior was seen in Travis.

"He's always been a troubled child. He's always in denial. He'd always act like there was a third person involved. Someone else inside him who was responsible."

She also spoke about Boys's limited intellect.

"Travis didn't do school," she said. "I don't think he got a 5th or 6th grade education."

She says he could not read very well, and she'd be surprised if he knew his SSN. She said he can't do basic math and wouldn't be able to count change.

The prosecution cross examined and talked about Boys’ extensive criminal history dating back to when he was in his teens, including beating their nephew.

"So, Travis can't read? But he can drive?" a prosecutor asked Joseph. She said yes.

"What my brother did was really f'd up -- I don't tell people that he's my brother. I don't want my name in the paper. I don't want to be here. I was ordered to be here. My damn livelihood is at stake," she said.

She also apologized to the Holloway family.

Boys is accused of shooting Officer Daryle Holloway inside his patrol car in 2015, after Boys was arrested for allegedly shooting at his wife.